Town of Cheraw

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Planning & Community Development

Planning & Community Development’s mission is to build working relationships and guide growth and development in a manner consistent with Cheraw’s goals and objectives. That is realized through relationship building and planning.

Relationship building engages the public [residents, developers/builders, faith-based and community groups, and nonprofit organizations], and provides opportunities to participate in the planning process. This builds trust and cooperation. Planning is an art that incorporates the citizen views and opinions, professional experts, statistical data, land use and traffic patterns, gauging local, State, and National trends to promote and shape appropriate growth. The planning process is a marriage between public input and planning principles to build community consensus and endorsement, and trust. Its lynch pin is the public participation. The public participation process ensures community values are articulated and becomes a platform for healthy dialogue.

The comprehensive plan is a product of planning. It is a ten-year approach for municipal and county governments mandated by the State. The plan is updated every 10 years. Policies, aspirations, spending, and vision are gleaned from the public participation process, council and staff input, and studies. The comprehensive plan also is the basis for allocation sources and future projects. You may download the 2016-2026 Comprehensive Plan here

Planning & Community Development’s role is to:
  • Work cooperatively with Council and departmental staff to establish and meet goals and objectives. 
  • Coordinate the 5-year revision and 10-year update of the comprehensive plan. 
  • Work with staff to develop and implement grants.
  • Ensure zoning compliance. 
  • Work cooperatively with the Planning Commission, Board of Architectural Review, and Board of Zoning Appeal. 
  • Assist residents, developers/builders, the business community, and others in navigating through the Town development standards and procedures for project development. 
  • Review and approve site/plot plans and plat.
  • Develop and amend ordinances.
  • Review subdivision plans. The Planning Commission approves the final subdivision plat.  
  • Make as needed updates to the Official Zoning Map.

To learn more about Planning & Community Development, click here.

Consult Cheraw’s Planning & Community Development Department before:
  • demolishing a building
  • constructing or installing any new residential, commercial, or industrial structure (i.e. house, garage, shed)
  • installing fencing, satellite dish, and other accessory uses/structures
  • adding to an existing building (additions)
  • moving a building/structure
  • altering the exterior structure
  • installing or changing fencing
  • changing landscaping or constructing new drives or walkways
  • installing, constructing, or replacing signage. (Sign Application)
  • changing use (transition from residential to commercial, industrial to commercial, or vice versa)
  • finalizing subdivision plats and site/plot plans

In the historic district all the above are applicable including any exterior changes or improvements (change in paint colors, windows, and roof shingles, and etc.)

Briefly, any new construction, additions, or improvements require a site/plot plan. This includes accessory structure (i.e. fencing, garages, shed, solar panels, etc.). Site plans must be completed by a registered land surveyor, landscape architect, or licensed engineer. Click here for a list of land surveyors. Small projects like detached sheds, fences, landscaping, free-standing signage, and other accessory stuctures can be accomplished by a plot plan. Plot plans do not have to be signed or stamped by the aforementioned. You or your contractor can develop it. If you or your contractor develops the plot plan, it must be to scale using an engineer ruler. Click for information on Do It Yourself (DIY) plot plan. However, all new commercial, industrial, single-family construction and additions, and multi-family uses must have a site plan. 

Plats and Subdivision Plan

No land subdivision plat or land development plan within the Town of Cheraw shall be filed or recorded with the county's Clerk of Court until such plat has been reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission or its designee with its affixed stamp. The filing or recording of any subdivision plat or plan without Planning Commission approval, per SC Code § 6-29-1140, is a misdemeanor. All plats shall conform to the "Standards of Practice Manual for Surveying in South Carolina," under the most recent State Code of Regulations. Additionally, properties combined must be reviewed and stamped by the Planning Commission. Prior to finalizing any plat or subdivision plan, deliver or email draft for review to ensure the proposed plat or plans meet the Town's zoning standards.

Click to view Cheraw’s Official Zoning Map and locate your property in its designated zoning district.

Click to view Zoning Ordinance. The ordinance is under review and revisions. 

Historic Preservation

Historic preservation is a component of the planning. The goal is the preserve architectural, archeology, cultural, and historic significant sites and structures. The Town of Cheraw boasts a southern charm second to none. Its magnificent historic homes and buildings teleports us to various time periods. These historic treasures are listed on the National Register for Historic Places as part of Cheraw's Historic District. Structures alone do not define the district. The streets, sidewalks, landscaping, and tree canopies all shape the district's identity.

Cheraw's historic district is characterized by wide streets and numerous oak trees. The residential area highlights stately homes interspersed with modern brick and framed residences to form pleasing streetscapes. Most of buildings in the commercial area pre-date 1930 and are of brick construction. "... in many ways as it did over one hundred years ago." - Cheraw Preservation and Maintenance Manual

Federal and State tax incentives are available to property owners for rehabilitation efforts. To learn more information visit South Carolina Department of Archives & History

Why Is Historic Preservation Important?

Cumulative small, inappropriate changes over time can be detrimental to the historic character as one large change. Inappropriate design alterations devalue historic character - our visual libraries. Such alterations not only devalue historic integrity but property values. In an effort to protect and preserve Cheraw's historic value, the Town through its zoning ordinance outlines standards that lend to historic preservation. The Cheraw Preservation and Maintenance Manual go a step further. It highlights specific structures and their historical significance, preservation approaches, and appropriateness. The Cheraw Preservation and Maintenance Manual was collaboration between Town and Thomason & Associates. 

Equally essential, the Town partners with the Board of Architectural Review (BAR) to ensure appropriate design, colors, landscaping and the like reflect the Town's historic and architectural integrity. The BAR roles is outlined under the State's 1994 Planning Enabling Legislation. Prior to any exterior modifications or improvements within the historic district, please complete the Certificate of Appropriateness Application. The Certificate of Appropriateness Application places you on the agenda for the BAR to review and deliberate on your proposed plans. All application with the appropriate materials must be hand-delivered, emailed, or mailed a week before the BAR meeting. The application must be complete and accompanied by color pictures of the existing structure(s) and visuals – color renderings/sketches, pictures of similar. Paint change requires paint swatches. New construction and installation require either a site or plot plan. The BAR generally meets the first Monday of the month. Holidays and unseen event require meetings to be rescheduled later in the month.

The Board of Architectural Review also when required holds public hearings on the demolition of properties to evaluate the structures' soundness, contribution to the historic district, and the whether the structure is salvageable. It can hear and deliberate on appeals to staff's decisions. The appeal process becomes quasi-judicial in nature. Their responsibilities mirror the Board of Zoning Appeals procedural process. Any appeal must be made to the circuit court within 30 days of the decision.

Click to view the Cheraw Preservation and Maintenance Manual